SPORTS

Lutumailagi Tells All

  Veteran Vodafone Fijian 7s winger Joeli Lutumailagi was regarded a hero during the Wellington 7s when he outpaced Seabelo Senatla for a glorious try in the final. Last Sunday,
08 Feb 2017 11:41
Lutumailagi Tells All
Vodafone 7's rep Joeli Lutumailagi is flanked by Kulaia Saumia and Sera Adivalu at the Nadi International Airport yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

 

Veteran Vodafone Fijian 7s winger Joeli Lutumailagi was regarded a hero during the Wellington 7s when he outpaced Seabelo Senatla for a glorious try in the final.

Last Sunday, he became a villain among Fijian fans when he kicked away possession that resulted in New Zealand scoring their winning try in the Cup quarterfinal of the Sydney Sevens.

Yesterday, the 32-year-old policeman spoke to SUNsports about those moments.

Lutumailagi said he had heard a lot about the 23-year-old Seabelo Senatla.

“I knew he was the top try scorer and the best sevens player of the year,” he said.

“I always watched him from a distance throughout the Wellington tournament.”

Lutumailagi said in the final, he did not believe when Senatla openly challenged him for a run to the line.

“When I saw him point at the open space in front of us, I did not hesitate. With ball in hand I just stepped on the gas.

“I had actually respected him and wanted to give him a fair go but I did not expect to beat him fair and square since he is one the fastest players in series.”

 

Wrong Option

But on last Sunday’s blunder, the Narata native from Nadroga said it was unfortunate.

“I got carried away in the heat of the game and did not look at the time that was on the screen- which was 14 seconds away from the final whistle.

Lutumailagi said he had kicked the ball downfield so they could pressure New Zealand close to their tryline.

“ I did not know that it was going to backfire. Also I was not happy with the decisions made by referee.”

Lutumailagi said all this is water under the bridge as he now focuses on working harder in order to make the team for the USA 7s in Las Vegas followed by the Vancouver 7s in Canada.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

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